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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Excommunications (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Excommunications
Speed
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I notice that we don't talk about religion as much these days as we used to, which is probably for the best. I don't know if that's a deliberate policy change, or just cultural drift. But I have always appreciated the diverse, well-informed opinions I've found on Hatrack.

So I thought I'd see if anyone had heard of the excommunication of Mormon Feminist Kate Kelly, or the pending disciplinary hearings for Mormon podcaster John Dehlin.

What sort of information has reached Hatrack? Any strong opinions one way or the other, or does anyone care too much?

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BlackBlade
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I care quite a bit and have posted elsewhere about it. I will try to repost when I am off my phone and have had more time to think about it.
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Speed
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Can't wait to hear it. If I missed it from somewhere else, feel free to just post a link.
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stilesbn
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I don't think there has been any discussion on here or Ornery about the subject. Honestly, this doesn't seem like the best forum to talk about it either. There is too much ground to make up for those not familiar with the practice. Most of the discussion would be spent bringing people up to speed on the nuances of what excommunication (for Mormons) is and isn't. I'd be surprised if it got past that.
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Speed
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Back in the day, enough people here were Mormon, or familiar enough with Mormonism (presumably due to familiarity with Orson Scott Card) that topics like this were frequently discussed. I guess it's changed since last I paid attention.
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stilesbn
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I think there are a lot less Mormons than there used to be, and it seems like with the exception of BlackBlade, most aren't super active (like me, I don't post all that much, just lurk for the most part). I could be wrong in my observations though. The fact that the Mormonism doesn't come up as a topic as often anymore means that you can't always tell what someone's religious affiliations are.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
I don't think there has been any discussion on here or Ornery about the subject. Honestly, this doesn't seem like the best forum to talk about it either. There is too much ground to make up for those not familiar with the practice. Most of the discussion would be spent bringing people up to speed on the nuances of what excommunication (for Mormons) is and isn't. I'd be surprised if it got past that.

Probably true but I would actually be interested in such a discussion since the only Mormon I know personally is no longer a Mormon and is in fact violently opposed to Mormonism so not exactly an unbiased opinion. [Big Grin]
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Speed
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I wonder if there's such thing as an unbiased opinion on this sort of thing. I like to think I come close, but that's me judging myself, so it's not exactly an unbiased opinion.
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scifibum
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I don't think so. There could be an unbiased presentation of facts, perhaps.
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Speed
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It's hit every major news source in the last couple weeks. So I guess you could find an unbiased presentation of facts out there somewhere. Or a presentation biased in any direction you care to consider.
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Wingracer
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Let me rephrase. Perhaps a pro-Mormon opinion to balance out the heavily anti-Mormon opinion I already have access to.
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Herblay
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I think Kate Kelly's case is fairly straightforward.

She started a political movement that is opposed to church doctrine. This is against the laws of the church because it leads members against official teachings. It is an action that certainly merits excommunication.

Excommunication is a private matter. Upon receiving her documents, she immediately criticized the church but proclaimed her love for the gospel. Well, the gospel that she purports to love holds a male-only priesthood as one of its primary tenets. By publicly disclosing all this and by being so public in support of this movement, she doesn't show an active belief in the gospel.

Look -- the Mormon church doctrine believes a family unit is sacrosanct and each member holds a place in the family. The man's place is to hold the priesthood and administer over the family. The women's role is to co-administer the priesthood with her husband, administer to welfare of the family and community, to bear children, and to provide perspective that only a woman can provide. From a doctrinal perspective, a woman holding the priesthood makes as much sense as a man bearing children.

So, yes, she's free to her beliefs. But she can't start a movement opposed to church doctrine without some change to her church standing. If she is really a faithful member, she MUST believe that the doctrine is directly from God. So, it's no stretch of logic to claim that she is directly petitioning God himself to change a fundamental tenant of his plan for humanity.

But it isn't a big deal. She can still go to church. Good members won't shun her. And if she is repentant and stops grandstanding for attention, they'll readmit her in a year.

I see three possible outcomes:
- She has received real revelation. Over time the church will change. She'll be forgiven for any of her actions.
- She will realize that she has been rallying for the wrong reasons, repent, and go through the process of being readmitted. Again, it won't be long before she's forgiven.
- She has been misled or isn't a real believer in the church. She will keep pushing for her position and become angry with the church, leaving eventually.

[ June 25, 2014, 09:23 AM: Message edited by: Herblay ]

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Herblay
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John ... has said a whole lot of stuff. The problem is that he's struggled with his faith so publicly. And that he's said a lot of things that could be interpreted as setting members down the wrong path.

Excommunication might be a good thing for him. If he's repentant and it affirms his faith. It could be bad for the converse reason.

I think for a lot of people struggling with their faith, it would be a bad move, most likely based on a lack of understanding by local leadership. They'd come to the opinion that the church as a whole is opposed to personal crises of faith. When the reality is more that John's (very human) local leaders do not understand the nature of John's struggle.

The church needs people with more progressive views. Even though a lot of members forget it, one of the central tenets of the LDS faith is promoting the ability of other people to exercise free agency. Gay marriage SHOULD be considered a part of this agency. Therefore, the LDS church should be some of the biggest advocates of the state allowing some form of marriage.

But, like other social issues, the church wants to promote social conservatism. So its stance isn't exactly surprising.

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BlackBlade
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Sorry about the delayed response. Will post hopefully tomorrow after I get some things done in Futian.
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
So, it's no stretch of logic to claim that she is directly petitioning God himself to change a fundamental tenant of his plan for humanity.

But hasn't this happened before, with blacks? I guess the easy response is to say that the whole no blacks in the priesthood wasn't "fundamental," but wouldn't the more likely truth be "____ is fundamental, until it isn't"?
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Speed
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Church spokesperson Ally Isom said in her Radiowest interview that there is no doctrine stating that women can't hold the priesthood. So I guess we need to clarify how we're defining "fundamental" here to begin with.
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Herblay
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No. Blacks and the priesthood wasn't doctrine. It was based on a racist statement by Brigham Young and followed by the church until it was questioned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_and_Mormonism

I would say that the position on blacks is more akin to their position on gays. They are denying people access to part of the gospel based on who they are. Only time will tell if the church's position shifts on this.

But the position on women and the priesthood isn't like this. Almost anyone who understands the doctrine will tell you it isn't discriminatory. It's part of the fundamental design of the family, central to the LDS faith. Even the most progressive members will generally agree that it is impossible for members of Ordain Women to truly hold their beliefs regarding ordination AND a belief in the Mormon doctrine.

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Herblay
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quote:
Originally posted by Speed:
Church spokesperson Ally Isom said in her Radiowest interview that there is no doctrine stating that women can't hold the priesthood. So I guess we need to clarify how we're defining "fundamental" here to begin with.

Yes, she said that, and she was quickly (and quietly) replaced by Jessica Moody.

Here's the church's position from Mormon.org:
http://www.mormon.org/faq/women-in-the-church

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kmbboots
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Most - I would be tempted to say nearly all - the denominations that now ordain women struggled with the decision to do so. Very often these struggles were (some still are) divisive and included people who were asked to leave the denomination. This is how change happens. And it does happen.

Since I am not Mormon, I don't know how that shifts with your Church, but I wanted to add some perspective on churches in general.

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Speed
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I see your link as a statement that women do not hold the priesthood. But can you find a definitive doctrine stating that women can not hold the priesthood?
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Herblay
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https://www.lds.org/manual/the-latter-day-saint-woman-basic-manual-for-women-part-a/women-in-the-church/lesson-13-women-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng
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Speed
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Again, just skimming, but it appears that every sentence with "women" and "priesthood" has verbs in past or present tense.

Anyway, what is that, the Relief Society manual? How often are those updated? Can everything that's printed in a manual be relied upon as official, unchanging doctrine?

Not trying to be an ass (I'll let you judge how well I'm succeeding), but I would like to nail down an unchangeable doctrine before I worry about its eternal implications.

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Herblay
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I can only say to read it again. I think by skimming, you've missed most of the important sentiments.

The LDS faith centers on the belief that everyone (pretty much) is saved by grace. Just reaching heaven is pretty much default because of Christ's atonement. But there's more to it than that. We are God's children. We can literally inherit his kingdom and receive exaltation, we can become like our father, and receive godhood.

What is required to truly follow the Lord's plan of salvation? You have to make promises, covenants, with the Lord. You have to follow certain laws and learn a number of lessons to become more like the savior.

But you ALSO have to marry in the temple. The power of godhood requires the gifts of both a man and a woman. The Lord has his female counterpart, and man needs his. A man in a marriage acts on Earth with the priesthood, serving as a proxy for Christ. And the woman serves as administrator and mother over the family. But she can't be a proxy for Christ. And the man can't have babies.

The fundamental doctrine IS that man and woman are both required to make up a godhead. The priesthood is just the name for the man's portion of the proxy. The woman has hers, but it is more inherent rather than granted (by the church).

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Foust
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quote:
Almost anyone who understands the doctrine will tell you it isn't discriminatory. It's part of the fundamental design of the family, central to the LDS faith.
The policy being discriminatory and it being central to the faith are not contradictory statements.

Religion changes. What was doctrine yesterday could be passed off as nothing tomorrow. Heck, there are elements of the Catholic hierarchy that will sometimes speak about ordaining women, and that outfit is way, way older than yours.

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Boris
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Let me explain how I've come to understand it. I'll probably use some terminology you might not be familiar with. If so, please ask and I'll try to explain. Priesthood in the church is primarily a division of primary responsibilities. Women hold the priesthood through their husbands, and in situations where a priesthood holder cannot be found to perform one of the responsibilities assigned to men, women have authority to fulfill those responsibilities. But those situations are *extremely* rare.

I'll tell you a quick story. One of the best memories I have is when my mother and I were visiting my grandparents and I started developing a cold of some sort. My grandfather was excommunicated in the 70s (I think...details are shaky and mom's...well, she's dead now so I can't clear up the details with her), so there were no men that could give me a blessing of healing (which is one of the responsibilities of the priesthood). My mother explained the responsibilities of the priesthood and told me that since there were no men around who were ordained, that she could give me a blessing as a mother. She did so, and I woke up the next day feeling completely better. Now, you can take from that story what you want, and I have my own beliefs regarding it, but to me it is particularly special.

The division of men and women in the church is *not* about men being "better" or more worthy than women. It is entirely about helping men and women grow spiritually and emotionally by assigning responsibilities that provide opportunities to encourage growth. We believe that the purpose of life is to learn and prepare for what is to come in the next life. There are some intricacies to that which I don't feel competent enough to explain here, but essentially there is a need for men and women in the church to learn to function as one. The division of responsibilities in the church encourages that.

Katie Kelly's actions show that she doesn't really understand the role of the priesthood in the church. And that's due in great part to the fact that no one probably attempted to help her understand that. One of the greatest problems of how the church does things is that the people who teach aren't always the people who really know what they are teaching. But that has purpose as well. Normally, that's just fine. The church actively encourages people to study and learn things in a way they can understand. Sometimes that leads to people falling off the rails, as it were, and following paths of logic (if this is true, then that must be true type logic) that cause them to believe things that are not correct. It's perfectly fine for that to happen. We can't know everything. It's when people start to actively teach others those incorrect beliefs that you start going down the road to apostasy, and that's what happened in this situation.

Excommunication in the church is not punitive. It exists as a way for people to examine their actions, motives, and beliefs. It is typically only done in situations where people have gone very far astray from church teachings and then act to bring other people to their way of thinking, or have broken the covenants they make in the temple. It is, primarily, an opportunity for them to start again if they so choose. Not everyone who is excommunicated chooses to start again. Many choose to become angry, bitter, and hateful towards the church. But usually the people who choose to make a fresh start out of it and return to full fellowship in the church end up doing so with a stronger belief in the gospel and look back on it as an important part of their lives.

At any rate, that's all my opinion and beliefs on the subject. It may actually be that I am mistaken in some things I've said. Most of what I believe has been the result of a lot of time spent thinking about it, and from my own personal experiences. I have no documentation or verifiable facts to back me up. This is all just how I've come to view and understand the doctrines of the church, and I am not, by any means, an authority.

quote:
The church needs people with more progressive views. Even though a lot of members forget it, one of the central tenets of the LDS faith is promoting the ability of other people to exercise free agency. Gay marriage SHOULD be considered a part of this agency. Therefore, the LDS church should be some of the biggest advocates of the state allowing some form of marriage.
The Church has never opposed Civil Unions or attempts to extend legal rights to gay couples. The primary focus of the church's opposition has been to ensure that the legal definition of the term "Marriage" defines a union between a man and woman. This is because there is sufficient legal precedent already to allow gay rights activists to attempt to force religious groups to recognize those same sex marriages or face removal of tax exemptions. The efforts of the church to help those in need would be greatly impeded by that.
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Rakeesh
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Look, there are doctrinal explanations for why it's not sexism, sure. But unless you sign up and believe, they really don't hold up to any kind of scrutiny, and wouldn't in any other institution one was not already invested in believing in.

You said it yourself-the wife 'co-administers' the priesthood, which is again by your words a sort of proxy for Christ. How credible is it to claim that, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is not the most important role that is irrevocably out of reach of women? A woman can choose (or be biologically unable) not to have children, and she will need to have a man serve as her proxy for Christ within the church infrastructure. A man can choose (or be biologically unable) not to have children, and still be in and of himself a proxy for Christ. It's my understanding that in the case of a choice not to have children, both of these people are engaging in a significant mistake in religious terms, but that's a different discussion.

Ultimately what it boils down to is that the doctrinal defense for why a male-only priesthood isn't objectionably sexist is because it is, supposedly, part of the fundamental nature of the universe. Not unlike males not being able to carry and birth children. Well, that's all well and good though as an argument to outsiders it serves pretty poorly. Granted believers aren't under an obligation to justify themselves, but something that is less easily put aside is this: almost the entire power structure of the Mormon church, historically and in the present, is invested in men. There isn't any of this 'co-administration' stuff in the practice of the day to day running of things. We don't tend to use the word 'partner' to describe someone whose role is entirely ambiguous and may be set aside on any given issue without their consent.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
I can only say to read it again. I think by skimming, you've missed most of the important sentiments.


But you ALSO have to marry in the temple. The power of godhood requires the gifts of both a man and a woman. The Lord has his female counterpart, and man needs his. A man in a marriage acts on Earth with the priesthood, serving as a proxy for Christ. And the woman serves as administrator and mother over the family. But she can't be a proxy for Christ. And the man can't have babies.

The fundamental doctrine IS that man and woman are both required to make up a godhead. The priesthood is just the name for the man's portion of the proxy. The woman has hers, but it is more inherent rather than granted (by the church).

Boy, being a Mormon single woman or one who can't have children must really suck.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... almost the entire power structure of the Mormon church, historically and in the present, is invested in men.

A valid question that I'd be curious about. Are the current rules against female Mormon priests or does it go up the entire hierarchy? When was the last female prophet (or whatever the equivalent of a Catholic pope is)?
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Speed
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Last female prophet... Deborah, right?
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
I can only say to read it again. I think by skimming, you've missed most of the important sentiments.


But you ALSO have to marry in the temple. The power of godhood requires the gifts of both a man and a woman. The Lord has his female counterpart, and man needs his. A man in a marriage acts on Earth with the priesthood, serving as a proxy for Christ. And the woman serves as administrator and mother over the family. But she can't be a proxy for Christ. And the man can't have babies.

The fundamental doctrine IS that man and woman are both required to make up a godhead. The priesthood is just the name for the man's portion of the proxy. The woman has hers, but it is more inherent rather than granted (by the church).

Boy, being a Mormon single woman or one who can't have children must really suck.
See, this is why we don't discuss Mormon doctrine here anymore. The unnecessary snark and sarcasm.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Speed:
Last female prophet... Deborah, right?

I guess I should have specified "uniquely Mormon" prophet.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
but something that is less easily put aside is this: almost the entire power structure of the Mormon church, historically and in the present, is invested in men. There isn't any of this 'co-administration' stuff in the practice of the day to day running of things.]

That's not actually true. The "Power structure," as you put it, includes many many female leaders. The relief society presidency of each ward, stake, and the church as a whole are all women. The church education system is primarily managed and staffed by both men and women. But I imagine these auxiliary positions don't actually meet your definition of being part of the "Power structure," so there really isn't a way to sway your opinion on that, and you're welcome to have that opinion. But I'd appreciate it if you would not attempt to force your opinions on me and my religion.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Speed:
Last female prophet... Deborah, right?

I guess I should have specified "uniquely Mormon" prophet.
Officially ordained as prophet? There hasn't been one. But the position of Prophet is essentially one as a figurehead. Numerous women throughout the history of the church have received revelation that have resulted in additions to church doctrine. In particular, Emma Smith (Joseph Smith's first wife) was primarily responsible for influencing Joseph to introduce the Word of Wisdom.
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TomDavidson
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Had Kate Kelly merely married Monson, none of this would have needed to happen.
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kmbboots
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I was being being neither snarky nor sarcastic. I was being critical. Every compensation for not being a "proxy for Christ" has to do with having babies. She only has access to the proxy of Christ through a husband. The only place where she has administration authority is over her family. If she doesn't have children, what is there for her?

Believe me, Catholics are not much better but we are improving.

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advice for robots
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Excommunication in these cases isn’t happening suddenly. These people have likely had numerous discussions with their local church leaders already. They’ve long known where their continued actions would lead as far as their standing in the church. IMO, only the issue that the individual is espousing and the apparently retaliatory action by the church really get talked about in the news. That hardly represents what’s really going on, however. The individual is probably not facing disciplinary action because of the issue they’ve brought up—e.g. giving women the priesthood—but because of the way they’ve chosen to publicize the issue and draw other people into the cause they’ve created around it, and how they’ve persisted despite warnings about where their actions would lead. They’ve probably been invited multiple times to settle their questions privately rather than publicly. Again, it’s not the fact that they have questions and doubts that’s the problem—it’s how they choose to press them for a resolution they consider satisfactory.

Being excommunicated means (in part) that you no longer represent the church as a member in good standing. Especially in cases that get publicity, it’s for the church’s good as well as the individual’s. The church parts ways with the individual, and if that individual continues the activities they’ve been doing, they do it without the implicit church backing that members enjoy.

The concept may sound harsh, but believe it or not, the church regards a disciplinary action like excommunication to be a necessary and valuable part of the repentance process and isn’t just throwing the people out into the cold. Excommunication isn’t done lightly, of course. But it is done with the goal to help the individual eventually return to full membership. Having sat on several disciplinary councils now (all for possible reinstatement of the individual to full membership so far, none to originate disciplinary action) I feel like I’ve seen the benefit of excommunication pretty clearly. These are people who wanted to come back, of course—many don’t. But they’ve been able to make many beneficial changes in their lives, with close contact and support of their bishops and continued association with fellow church members. This process has been a great blessing to them, rather than the disgrace and shunning that it’s often perceived to be.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Had Kate Kelly merely married Monson, none of this would have needed to happen.

See above regarding snark and sarcasm. Tom, I would just like you to know that you are probably one of the least pleasant people I've ever had the displeasure of interacting with. I understand that you don't care, but I thought you should know that.
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TomDavidson
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It's not necessarily that I don't care. It's that I don't mind.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I was being being neither snarky nor sarcastic. I was being critical. Every compensation for not being a "proxy for Christ" has to do with having babies. She only has access to the proxy of Christ through a husband. The only place where she has administration authority is over her family. If she doesn't have children, what is there for her?

Believe me, Catholics are not much better but we are improving.

You were being critical by utilizing sarcasm and snark. You could have simply stated it the way you just did, but you chose to be snarky by saying "Boy, it must suck to be a single Mormon woman".

That being said, it does suck to be a single Mormon woman who can't have kids. My sister dealt with it for about 15 years before getting married. Her inability to have kids was tortuous for her and going to church and looking around at all the kids depressed her endlessly. She stopped going to church because of it. But being a single woman in the church doesn't limit you from being able to serve other people. Many leadership positions in the church are filled by single women who have never been married. One of the most respected women leaders in the church is Sheri Dew. She's in her 60s, been a member her whole life, and has never been married. She was a member of the general relief society presidency. She's also probably the most recognized female in the church today. Being single or childless doesn't limit a woman's ability to serve the people around them.

But it also sucks to be a single Mormon man. Particularly when people are constantly saying stuff like, "Women who die having never been married will have the opportunity in the next life, but men who never get married won't."

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It's not necessarily that I don't care. It's that I don't mind.

Great. But for the future, please refrain from responding to my posts, if you would. I'd rather not interact with you anymore. Doing so just makes me angry.
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kmbboots
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Boris, I am not sure we define snark or sarcasm the same way. Had I said, "Gee, it must be great to be a childless Mormon woman", that would be snark and sarcasm. I was merely emphatic and said basically what you did later.

Both our Churches have a problem with seeing women as worthy as ourselves beyond our ability to bear and raise other people.

Do you see the problem with "most recognized female in the church"? We don't get to make the big decisions; we get to the equivalent of handing out soup and blankets. "Women's work".

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TomDavidson
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I would argue that "it must suck to be a childless Mormon woman" in that context is snarky but not sarcastic.

quote:
Do you see the problem with "most recognized female in the church"?
Especially once you think about it for a second and realize how relatively unrecognized that is. I would argue that more non-Mormons have heard of Emma Smith, in fact.
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stilesbn
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I didn't see kmb's comment all that snarky, maybe a little but she can and has dished a lot worse.

I would also add that we (The Mormon Church) have a lot of work to do both culturally and structurally. Despite the recent excommunication events, there is progress being made. It's not fast enough for a lot of people, but progress is being made and we're getting better none the less.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you see the problem with "most recognized female in the church"? We don't get to make the big decisions; we get to the equivalent of handing out soup and blankets. "Women's work".

You say that like it's not worth doing at all. I think that's a problem with perception. How is it not important to take care of people? Isn't that one of the *most* important parts of Christianity?
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I was being being neither snarky nor sarcastic. I was being critical. Every compensation for not being a "proxy for Christ" has to do with having babies. She only has access to the proxy of Christ through a husband. The only place where she has administration authority is over her family. If she doesn't have children, what is there for her?

Believe me, Catholics are not much better but we are improving.

Not sure I would substitute "priesthood" for "proxy of Christ," but that's not really my objection here. Motherhood isn't just the consolation prize women get because they can't hold the priesthood; neither is the priesthood what men get to have because they can't be mothers.

The priesthood is the authority God gives to us to act in his name. It's not and shouldn't be considered the domain of men only. The whole purpose of men holding it is so it can readily bless the lives of everyone. Men who equate holding the priesthood to having administrative and political power inside the church organization are misunderstanding it the same way that women do who want the priesthood so they can be in charge.

The church is organized at the ward level to extend the benefits of the priesthood to everyone regardless of their status. While the pattern might be for every home to have a mother and father in it, obviously there are single mothers and single women without children without a priesthood holder in the home. That doesn't mean those women don't have access to the priesthood. Through the home teaching program especially, but also through ward leaders and association with ward members, they can and should have all the blessings of the priesthood they desire in their homes and lives.

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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you see the problem with "most recognized female in the church"? We don't get to make the big decisions; we get to the equivalent of handing out soup and blankets. "Women's work".

You say that like it's not worth doing at all. I think that's a problem with perception. How is it not important to take care of people? Isn't that one of the *most* important parts of Christianity?
Yes, I'd say the whole point in having the priesthood, as well has having the church, boils down to blessing the lives of individuals. Really, if our focus is anywhere else, we're doing it wrong.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you see the problem with "most recognized female in the church"? We don't get to make the big decisions; we get to the equivalent of handing out soup and blankets. "Women's work".

You say that like it's not worth doing at all. I think that's a problem with perception. How is it not important to take care of people? Isn't that one of the *most* important parts of Christianity?
I am not saying that at all. It is great and a noble calling for someone male or female who is called to that. I am saying that it sucks to have your options for service limited to that. And, coming from a man, sounds a bit like my boss sounds when she proclaims once a year on staff appreciation day that the secretaries are the most important people in the School.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I was being being neither snarky nor sarcastic. I was being critical. Every compensation for not being a "proxy for Christ" has to do with having babies. She only has access to the proxy of Christ through a husband. The only place where she has administration authority is over her family. If she doesn't have children, what is there for her?

Believe me, Catholics are not much better but we are improving.

I believe your statement is born out of a misunderstanding of the doctrine.

Here's a quote by Joseph Fielding Smith:

quote:
Furthermore, there are thousands of young men as well as young women, who have passed to the world of spirits without the opportunity of these blessings. Many of them have laid down their lives in battle; many have died in their early youth; and many have died in their childhood. The Lord will not forget a single one of them. All the blessings belonging to exaltation will be given them, for this is the course of justice and mercy. So with those who live in the stakes of Zion and in the shadows of our temples; if they are deprived of blessings in this life these blessings will be given to them during the millennium” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 2, p.38).


Those that do not have the opportunity to marry in this life will be given the opportunity to do so later.

There are often people, male and female, that simply never find that right person to marry. How just would God be to punish those people?

Kate Kelly was excommunicated because she not only did not understand the purpose of the priesthood, but because she tried to sway others to her beliefs. The fact that she made the church disciplinary action letters public when they are meant to be private indicates to me that she was simply begging for attention.

The church let her carry on for quite a long time, and it was only when she started to try and organize and became much more outspoken with her criticism that the church stepped in. She is free to express her beliefs however she sees fit, but the church also has a right to excommunicate someone for trying to teach it's members contrary to it's teachings.

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kmbboots
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Not just at all which is kind of my point. Also, you are assuming that there is a "right person" to find. I don't think that is necessarily true.
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you see the problem with "most recognized female in the church"? We don't get to make the big decisions; we get to the equivalent of handing out soup and blankets. "Women's work".

You say that like it's not worth doing at all. I think that's a problem with perception. How is it not important to take care of people? Isn't that one of the *most* important parts of Christianity?
I am not saying that at all. It is great and a noble calling for someone male or female who is called to that. I am saying that it sucks to have your options for service limited to that. And, coming from a man, sounds a bit like my boss sounds when she proclaims once a year on staff appreciation day that the secretaries are the most important people in the School.
That's what most people in the church are called to do, essentially. If you are willing to accept church callings then you will likely serve in a wide variety of positions through the years. All of them involve soup and blankets to some extent. The bishop might be released one week and called as a teacher in the nursery the next week. There are callings with more prominence than others, certainly, but none of any more intrinsic importance than another. You can be just as ineffective as Relief Society president as Sunbeams teacher if you don't choose to apply yourself in your position--or you can work wonders in both.
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